You couldn't cram more chick-flick manipulation devices into this thing unless you blew it up to 70mm. There's the chocolate jokes, the funny gay pal and the pregnancy scenario (the latter two combined this time). But when they bring in a goddamned kitten, you have every right to throw up your hands in disgust. Once again acting as a pincushion for skeevy European types, Diane Lane plays a literary critic who rebounds from a painful divorce by buying an Italian villa and resolving to live life with renewed vigor. Step one: asking a smooth-talking hunk to sleep with her. The guy in question is named Marcello, and the movie's acknowledgment of him as a walking cliché is no better than the implied message that a woman can't be happy until she learns to be a slut. The twin dramatic highlights: a Polish guy gets hit in the head with a flag, and a washing machine is struck by lightning.
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